The second Bougainville Leaders forum was convened yesterday at Malasang Village as part of the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Independence Mission.
Bougainville leaders from the political level and civil society were in attendance at the forum including President Ishmael Toroama and members of his cabinet and the Bougainville administration.
A key topic of discussion at the forum was the recent ministerial statement by Prime Minister Hon. James Marape on Bougainville and responses to the statement by members of the National Parliament including the four Bougainville National MP’s.
The Prime Minister made it clear that the National Government will not agree to Bougainville’s political aspirations on independence however he urged National Government agencies to fast track the Sharp Agreement.
The Sharp Agreement dispenses much of the red tape that has impeded drawdown of powers and functions by the ABG from the National Government over the years.
In response to the Prime Minister, President Ishmael Toroama said that Bougainville will still remain steadfast in its course to attain political independence.
President Toroama said the ABG is committed to implementing the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the Sharp Agreement and other agreements signed with the Toroama government since its inception last September.
President Toroama said that the Joint Communique and the Sharp Agreement signed recently by both governments are essential in Bougainville’s journey to independence.
He added that he has confidence in these processes despite the seemingly lagging approach by the National Government in holding its part in the implementation of the BPA.
President Toroama told those present at the forum that despite the challenges faced by the ABG and Bougainville he has not lost sight of people’s aspirations for an independent Bougainville.
He continues to urge unity, hard work and the people’s commitment to supporting the government.
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